Final 5: Valery Flood-Smith, Austin Brown, Jennifer Donald, Tiffany Hall, Daryl Wright

Saturday, March 24, the Makes-Me-Wanna SHOUT! Chocolate Layer Cake Semifinals raised $2000 for Martha’s Table and advanced five chocolate cakes to the Final Five (Tuesday, April 24 from 5 – 7 PM at Eatonville Restaurant).

Over 100 friends, family, neighbors, cake lovers, volunteers walked along the line of 14 chocolate cakes in the children’s center atop Martha’s Table in the heart of D.C.’S U Street Corridor for the semifinals of the Makes-Me-Wanna SHOUT! Chocolate Layer Cake Baking Challenge presented with Eatonville Restaurant. Official judges including WUSA9’s J.C. Hayward, King Arthur Flour’s Susan Reid, and Baking Style author and James Beard Award nominee Lisa Yockelson greeted the baking semifinalists at their tables before entering the official judges’ room for cake tasting to determine the “Judges Choice” award, the first of the five finalists selected to advance to the final round. The remaining official judges included, cookbook author Brenda Rhodes Miller, Flavor magazine editor Pamela Hess, restaurant consultant Janet Cam, Eatonville’s Pamela Pinnock, and Martha’s Table board member Ana Anders. Martha’s Table Development Director Ann Haskins Brookover welcomed guests on behalf of Martha’s Table and Eatonville owner Andy Shallal gave closing remarks before the 5 chocolate cake finalists were announced.

For the Semifinals round, cakes were rated on “taste and texture.” Guest tasters/ticket holders compared notes, sipped lemonade and ice coffee while deciding which 5 cakes would get their vote. Close to 4 PM, Michon Boston, creator/producer of the Makes-Me-Wanna SHOUT! Baking Challenge announced the results beginning with the “Judges’ Choice” award. The “Judges’ Choice” winner received a copy of Lisa Yockelson’s ChocolateChocolate and a $25 Whole Foods gift card. The remaining four finalists each received a $25 gift card donated by Giant Foods.


(Chocolate cake receiving the highest score from the Official Judges)

"Judges Choice" cake at Semifinals Photo courtesy of Daryl Wright

Helen’s Heavenly Mocha White & Milk Chocolate Glazed Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

with White and Milk Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Jennifer Donald (Accokeek, MD)

Chocolate Trio Cake

Austin Brown (Washington, DC)

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream

Tiffany Hall (Brentwood, MD)

“The Ora” White Chocolate Cherry Cream Cheese Red Bliss Cake

Valery Flood-Smith (Ft. Washington, MD)

“Lucifer’s Revenge” – Chocolate Cake with Mandarin Oranges and Grand Marnier

Daryl Wright (Washington, DC)

The five finalists will bake their final cakes for the official judges panel at the Final Five “Happy Hour” – Tuesday, April 24 from 5 – 7 PM at Eatonville Restaurant (2121 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20010). The following prizes will be awarded at the Final Five:

  • FIRST PRIZE: $500 cash prize, $250 Gift Card from King Arthur Flour (catalog), prize-winning cake on the Eatonville dessert menu, guest appearance on WUSA9 with J.C. Hayward;
  • SECOND PRIZE: $300 cash prize, $150 Gift Card from King Arthur Flour (catalog);
  • THIRD PRIZE: $200 cash prize, $100 Gift Card from King Arthur Flour (catalog).

The remaining two finalists will be acknowledged with Runners Up gifts.

More highlights from the Semifinals to come. Read all the Semifinalists Cake stories – click on this LINK.

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